To start of the game, Mexico tried to immediately add pressure. El Tri tried to hold the ball and keep it away from Argentina, and was successful for large portions of the opening games.
Carlos Salcido hit the crossbar for Mexico, and the chance to yell goal was stifled in the 8th minute.
Andres Guardado tried to add something as well, sending his shot just wide of Romero’s goal and it looked like Mexico could score at any time with shots like those.>
Mexico continued to hold the ball, were playing well. They were generating opportunities, and the game looked level.
In the 25th minute, Argentina scored. Messi passed to Tevez who shot straight on to Perez. Perez had come out and stopped the initial shot, and Messi received the rebounded ball and took a shot that an offside Tevez headed into the goal.
The Mexican players all asked for the goal to be disallowed because of the clear offside, but Rosetti refused. Linesman Stefano Ayroldi looked up at the replays, and the look of “I got it wrong” was clear on his face. The Argentinean team clearly realized what had happened, and they went to protest the possible overturn as well. But since the realization had come from a replay, the goal stood.
Up until then Mexico looked even with Argentina but from that point on the moral of the Mexican team dropped.
A few minutes later, in the 32nd minute, Ricardo Osorio received the ball as in any normal play. However, as the player tried to better control the ball it got away from him and Gonzalo Higuain immediately pounced at the mistake and went on to score.
The teams continued to attack. Argentina had a notable opportunity in the 42nd minute by Higuain who ended up hitting the post.
As the teams started to walk in to the locker rooms, a scuffle started to break out. Mediotiempo reported that Heinze explained the small fight starting ” after the Mexican bench started to yell obscenities and Heinze replied with “Leave them, we’re winning, we’re giving them a thrashing. But it didn’t go further.”
Pablo Barrera went in and ‘Bofo’ was out for the second half. Immediately, the change was obvious with some new pace injected into the side.
Unfortunately for Mexico, Carlos Tevez added a cracking goal in the 51st minute. From the edge of the box Tevez took the ball and shot it straight into corner, making it difficult for Perez to reach it.
Mexico continued to try and round up attacks, but Argentina but them off. It wasn’t until the 69th minute that it looked like Mexico was about to score when a ball from Pablo Barrera was saved off the line by Heinze.
Mexico got a goal in the 71st minute. ‘Chicharito’ lost Demichelis and sent the ball into the back of the net to give Mexico a glimmer of hope.
Veron entered for Argentina, and the team controlled the ball better than they previously had. The time dwindled down, and Argentina went through.
Though the score showed a great disparity, the teams were closer. Maradona may say that he was never worried about Mexico, but the Aztecs were dangerous to the Argentines but unfortunately the scoreline does not reflect that.
The goal was harshly given to Argentina…there is no denying, no controversy in saying that the goal was offside. But there’s also no denying that to win games, you have to take advantage of the opportunities given just like Argentina did on Sunday. We’ll never know what may have happened had that goal been judged correctly. Perhaps Mexico would have done better, perhaps not. Perhaps Osorio may not have given away that goal.
Mexico waited four years for another shot to get to the infamous “fifth game.” It seems like we’ll have to wait another four.
The process starts again.
What we have left at this time are questions. Why this team? Why ‘Bofo’? Who’s going to be the manager? Will Aguirre continue? What players will leave the national team? And there are many more that need to be answered.
But there are things that we now have hope for. Mexico’s “Golden Generation” will be 25-26 years old for 2014; ideally reaching the age where they will be at their peak. This is a team of players for the future that teams will respect. The young players showed what they can do, and that they can go up and perform when called upon. In four years they’ll have the experience that many say Mexico needs. There’ll be many tournaments and qualifiers that will help the team in the long process that awaits en route for the next World Cup. In four years El Tri will once again make people dream, and give more of an argument for those dreams to come true.
Mexico, see you in Brazil.